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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cash to help turn Cumbria into top cultural destination

Cumbria is to become one of the country’s top cultural tourist destinations following a £324,000 grant from the Arts Council.

Keswick theatre photo
The Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

The cash injection will firmly establish the county on the culture map as arts providers unite in an ambitious three-year project to put art and culture at the heart of its billion-pound tourist economy.

The special Cultural Destinations grant was awarded after a funding bid put together by Cumbria Tourism and Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre which are heading up a group of key organisations.

These include Theatre by the Lake at Keswick; the Lakeland Arts Trust; the Wordsworth Trust at Dove Cottage, Grasmere; Grizedale Sculpture park; the Lake District National Park Authority and the National Trust.

This consortium will oversee a project to create a cultural brand identity and marketing approach for the arts in the Lake District aimed at attracting visitors specifically to experience the arts and promote arts to tourists visiting on holiday.

The project also includes the creation of a brand new annual programme of arts and performances entitled Spring Awakening.

Brewery chief executive Richard Foster said the decision to award the money showed that the Lake District was regarded as a nationally important home of arts and culture.

He said: “This is a completely new way of promoting the Lake District which we are very excited about.

“Arguably the Lake District was the UK’s first ‘cultural destination’ – since the eighteenth century visitors have been attracted to the area because of the culture created in and inspired by its exceptional landscape.

“We need to rebuild this reputation and attract new cultural visitors to the county – both from the UK and overseas. Coming on the back of the UK Government’s support for nominating the Lake District for World Heritage site status in 2016 this is brilliant news.”

Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations Richard Greenwood said: “We are delighted that the bid has been approved and that there will be additional resources to market the high quality arts and cultural offer available across the Lake District and Cumbria.”

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